Springtime in Sonoma County feeds the senses and invites visitors to embrace the explosion of growth and vibrant energy that permeates our landscapes. Whether exploring the Pacific coastline, traversing valleys, or venturing through trails among the towering redwoods, Sonoma County offers a diverse array of experiences to satisfy your preferences. Whether seeking rejuvenation at a wellness retreat or a world-renowned winery. Sonoma County ensures an immersive sensory journey. Come see and taste Spring in Sonoma County where Life Opens Up.

New in Wine

Dane Cellars

Wine tasting takes on a unique twist inside a 120-year-old redwood wine tank turned into a stand-up bar at Dane Cellars in Glen Ellen. Owner and winemaker Bart Hansen leads the way with top-notch wines sourced from Sonoma Valley’s finest fruit, like Grenache and Mourvèdre from Rossi Ranch, Sauvignon Blanc from Beltane Ranch, and Zinfandel from Rancho Agua Caliente with wine tastings in “The Tank.”

New in Restaurants

Road Trip

Guerneville chef, restaurateur, and Food Network star Crista Luedtke has opened Road Trip, her newest restaurant featuring approachable, globally inspired eats (plus some of her nostalgic favorites). As seasons change and Luedtke visits new locales, she’ll bring back some culinary inspiration to the Road Trip menu.

Studio Barndiva

Barndiva recently made a daring and surprising shift by transitioning its intricate Michelin star-winning menu into an à la carte format. Additionally, the Healdsburg restaurant relocated its dining area to the larger space of the adjacent art gallery, reserving the original venue for exclusive private events. Throughout its tenure, Barndiva’s ownership has prioritized sourcing ingredients locally. This expansion of the menu into innovative realms enables the restaurant to incorporate produce from local farmers cultivating unique and diverse crops. Another draw to the new Barndiva Studio is the crafted artisanal cocktail menu from Beverage Director, Scott Beattie.

Brigitte Bistro

Chef/owner Nick Ronan brings his passion for hearty bistro-style cuisine to life at Brigitte Bistro in Petaluma. From classic dishes like beef bourguignon and duck confit to delightful tableside beef tartare and steak frites reflect Ronan’s culinary love. The restaurant, nestled in the former Wishbone and 3 Cooks Cafe space, has been transformed with new bar seating and chef’s counter overlooking the dining room. Brigitte Bistro is a warm neighborhood spot where friends and family gather over authentic French fare made with genuine love and passion, adding to Sonoma County’s culinary landscape.

The Wild Poppy Café

In the West County, Wild Poppy Cafe has opened with enticing offerings. Brunch and lunch aficionados are drawn to its doors with prepared fare crafted from locally sourced ingredients including their own made tofu. Chef/owner Martin Maigaard has also created an artisanal marketplace, a haven for connoisseurs seeking exquisite hard to find items ranging from Belgian linens to intricately crafted pottery and artwork. The ambiance comes alive at Wild Poppy on weekends with the sounds of live music, adding an extra layer of charm to the experience. Beyond the culinary delights, Wild Poppy embodies a sense of Sebastopol community spirit, embracing its surroundings of gastronomic delights and rich agricultural heritage.

Quinua Cocina Peruana

In the wake of a lease dispute in January, Juan Gutierrez, owner and chef of Quinua Cocina Peruana, faced the difficult choice of shuttering his unique Petaluma restaurant. Yet, from this setback emerged a new opportunity; Gutierrez secured a promising new Santa Rosa location for his acclaimed Peruvian culinary creations. Building upon the legacy of his past establishment, he has created a new menu steeped in authenticity, showcasing a variety of classic Peruvian fare using the finest Sonoma County ingredients.

New in Hotels

New Michelin Hotel Keys Recognizes Sonoma County Excellence

Michelin’s inaugural hotel selection in the United States signifies a significant achievement in travel. Among the 124 properties recognized with One, Two, or Three Michelin Hotel Keys, Sonoma County stands out with five distinguished establishments securing a coveted position on the prestigious inaugural list. Leading with three Michelin Keys is SingleThread Inn, followed by Guerneville’s The Stavrand and Healdsburg’s The Madrona and Montage, awarded with two Michelin Keys. Completing the quintet of excellence in Sonoma County is the recently reopened Sea Ranch Lodge, earning one Michelin Key for its exceptional charm and appeal. Like the renowned Stars that highlight the finest culinary experiences in the Michelin Guide’s restaurant selection, the Michelin Keys spotlight accommodations in the Guide’s hotel selection that offer exceptional stays. This Keys set a new standard, evaluating each hotel experience on a broader scale beyond mere amenities.

New in Events and Experiences

Museum of Sonoma County – On Tap: Sonoma County Hops and the Beer Revolution

In 1977, New Albion Brewery kickstarted the modern microbrewery movement in the US by brewing beer in discarded dairy tanks in Sonoma County. Today, Sonoma County attracts beer enthusiasts with its abundance of microbreweries and exceptional craft brews. Why? Visitors and craft beer lovers can find answers at the Museum of Sonoma County’s (MOSC) latest exhibition, “On Tap: Sonoma County Hops & The Beer Revolution.” Discover the pioneering roots of microbreweries and the deep history of local hop cultivation dating back to the 19th century. Through this showcase, MOSC enlightens visitors about Sonoma County’s hop legacy and its connection to the contemporary beer scene. With a functional hop harvester, brewing equipment demos, brewery artifacts, and a hop trellis, the exhibition offers an immersive journey through Sonoma County’s brewing heritage.

Ribbit Exhibit at Sonoma Botanical Garden

The Ribbit Exhibit at Sonoma Botanical Garden (SBG) brings spring to life with 23 enchanting frog sculptures scattered throughout the Garden. Crafted by artist Andy Cobb, each sculpture boasts its own name and tale, adding whimsy to the surroundings. From Zenny’s tranquil meditation by the pond to Bentley and Tortuga’s leisurely stroll along the trail, the sculptures inject charm into every corner. Handcrafted from copper with natural patina, these larger-than-life frogs can be spotted perched in trees, grooving to jazz tunes, or simply savoring a cup of coffee on a bench. Beyond admiring the art, SBG also extends its hours every Wednesday through October with special activities for all ages including live acoustic music in the amphitheater, a chance to sip and stroll with varietals from local wine partners, lawn games, and other family friendly activities. Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic, and for the first time ever, the Garden is also welcoming well-behaved, leashed dogs during these special evening hours. Local wineries will be on hand to offer a free taste of local terroir including the Garden’s own vineyard partner La Prenda Wines, as well as Highway 12 Winery, Bar None’s Canyon, and more.  

Rodney Strong Vineyards Winemaker Series

The Winemaker Series will present a session titled “Sustainability and Viticulture.” Led by Estate Vineyard Manager Alli Dericco and Grower Relations Manager Jason Saling, attendees will delve into the intricacies of maintaining a sustainable winery in Sonoma County in 2024. Discussions will center on vineyard practices and emphasize the organization’s dedication to land stewardship. Attendees gain insights into the forthcoming harvest while sampling a selection of estate wines and indulging in small bites. This session serves as a platform for expanding knowledge on contemporary viticultural best practices.

Wine & Sunsets at Paradise Ridge Winery

The Wine & Sunsets series returns to Paradise Ridge Winery Wednesday evenings through October. This gathering attracts guests from both near and far who can enjoy the sun slowly setting in the western sky. Attendees can enjoy Paradise Ridge wines paired with offerings from rotating local gourmet food trucks, accompanied by live musical performances. Beyond the Wine & Sunsets series, Paradise Ridge Winery also nurtures a profound affinity for art, showcasing sculptures and other installations throughout its grounds, further enhancing the estate’s unique ambiance and appeal.

For the Good of the Cause

Sonoma County Tourism: Stewardship is in our DNA

As a destination stewardship organization, Sonoma County Tourism supports local businesses making a community impact. Many are instrumental in driving positive change locally and beyond. For example, the Purpose collection of wines at Eco Terrano Wine and Vineyard directly gives back to area nonprofits, allowing consumers to positively impact the community. Griffo Distillery donates 10% of all profits of their canned cocktails to Climate Action. Equality Vines champions the rights of women, migrants and those who identify as LGBTQ+ by donating a percentage of sales to related organizations. Bricoleur Vineyard’s “Sip with Purpose” campaign donates to the V Foundation for cancer research for each bottle purchased, and for every case purchased the founders of Bricoleur Vineyards will match with a $60 donation. SingleThread’s owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton are members of the Board of Advocates for The Skatepark Project, a nonprofit established by skateboarding icon Tony Hawk. The Skatepark Project issues grants to low-income communities to build quality public skateparks and provides guidance to city officials, parents, and children through the process. Numerous Sonoma County businesses support charitable causes. Learn more about Sonoma County winery partners that give back.

BloodRoot Wine Ramble

The Ramble is a homegrown Sonoma County music and wine festival. Kelly and Noah Dorrance, the founders and trendsetting wine label, BloodRoot and Reeve Wines produce the 2-day musical event. It’s for an important cause: since losing their niece last year in a school shooting in Nashville, the Healdsburg couple have rallied wine and music friends to raise more than $200,000 to advocate for sensible gun ownership legislation. Proceeds from this year’s Ramble supports Giffords, a nonprofit led by former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. The event will bring together LA-based indie rockers Lord Huron, along with Andrew Bird, Cautious Clay, and others. June 7 and 8.

From Vineyards to Community: SCVF’s Commitment to Sonoma’s Most Vulnerable

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation (SCVF), a distinguished 501c(3) nonprofit, is dedicated to consistently supporting local nonprofit organizations, championing those most in need within the community. Through its Community Grants program, the Foundation offers accessible and responsive grants, addressing the pressing needs of Sonoma County. Over the past six years, SCVF has distributed grants to over 430 organizations, spanning education, literacy, health, human services, environmental conservation, and arts and culture. Partnering with the Redwood Empire Food Bank, SCVF is set to make a tangible difference at Taste of Sonoma. SVCF will have collection bins at the entrance, inviting attendees to contribute non-perishable foods for neighbors facing hunger. June 22.

Planting Hope: Farm to Pantry Seeks Gardening Volunteers to Make a Difference

With a goal of planting 1000 starts each week, Farm to Pantry’s Farm to Fight Hunger team is looking for gardening-hand power to dig in the dirt and make a difference. Sonoma County’s non-profit organization Farm to Pantry focuses on reducing food waste and addresses food insecurity in the community. The organization works to gather excess or aesthetic imperfect produce from local farms, gardens and orchards, and redistributes it to those in need through various channels, such as food banks, shelters, and community meal programs. By connecting excess food with people who can use it, Farm to Pantry aims to combat hunger, promote sustainability, and strengthen local food systems.

Story Ideas for Spring 2024

Beyond our renowned wineries and farm to table cuisine, visitors are immersing themselves in our beautiful landscapes, connecting with our local artisans and makers, and rejuvenating themselves through our holistic approach to wellbeing. With so many artisan-makers and unique activities to experience find suggested story ideas for Spring 2024 here.

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About Sonoma County Tourism    

Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s destination stewardship organization. Inspiring travel to the region through a variety of sales and marketing programs aimed at consumers, meeting and event planners, the travel trade, and media, the organization strives to ensure responsible tourism helps create a robust economy for the Sonoma County region. For more information visit sonomacounty.com.            

Media Contacts:      
Birgitt Vaughan, Director, Public Relations    
Chris Vomvolakis, Senior Manager, Consumer Public Relations     
[email protected]